Bob Bestler

I’ve been known to spoil a pet, but a TV channel for dogs suffering from anxiety?

A few distinguished four-legged guests enjoy the upscale Miller Suite at Stay Pet Resort June 3, 2014 in Hanover, Md. Luxury pet boarding is becoming a popular option for people who don’t want to leave their dogs at a more standard kennel.
A few distinguished four-legged guests enjoy the upscale Miller Suite at Stay Pet Resort June 3, 2014 in Hanover, Md. Luxury pet boarding is becoming a popular option for people who don’t want to leave their dogs at a more standard kennel. MCT

Several years ago, during a trip to Hilton Head Island, we boarded our now-deceased dog, Zoe, at the only available shelter.

We were given an option of two rooms, one a plain room with a pillow on a cement floor, the other a higher-priced doll-house of a room complete with carpeting and a bed in the shape of a colorful little race car. It also had a TV.

We went for the latter, of course. Zoe was our darling girl, after all. Nothing but the best.

I’m not sure if Zoe enjoyed the TV, but if she were around now, maybe she’d like something called DOGTV.

Yes, children, that would be a television channel designed especially for viewing by dogs.

DISH recently sent out an invitation for a $4.99 monthly subscription to DOGTV, promoting it as “the first and only TV channel for dogs!”

It is, we are told, scientifically designed and recommended by veterinarians and pet behaviorists.

DOGTV promises to help your dog deal with depression, anxiety and boredom. It is “pup-approved,” whatever that means, and best of all, it is available 24/7.

I realize dogs are taking an important place in all of our lives. Airlines are letting people board with a “service dog.” And more motel chains are welcoming dogs, for a fee.

In Charleston, several bars are opening areas for patrons with dogs and advertising special events - Barking Lot Party, Biscuits & Brews, Mimosas & Mutts, Barks and Booze.

And now a 24-hour TV channel just for Fido.

Well, people who know me know I’ve always warmed very slowly to new ideas. A 24-hour weather channel? No way. A 24-hour news channel? Get serious. And that 24-hour sports station? Come on, man. No one plays baseball at 3 a.m.

Wrong, wrong and wrong. And I’m probably wrong when I naysay at a TV station aimed directly at my own Wasabi.

Wrong because there probably are people who have to leave their dogs at home for hours during the day. Maybe they believe DOGTV would give them something to do besides, you know, sleep.

And maybe it can calm a dog’s anxiety. I’m reminded that just a couple weeks ago, a neighbor left her dog at home while she went to lunch during a thunderstorm.

When she returned, poor, frightened Amos had gone through her home like a tsunami - couch and pillows ripped apart, lamps overturned, stuff all over the floor.

Maybe DOGTV would have helped, except the storm might have cut the power and really ticked off Amos.

The DOGTV website offers testimonials to prove what a good thing it is - and you can trust most everything on the Internet, right?

Here’s what a John Evans of Los Angeles says: “Great idea. Not only is my dog attuned to your show, but I enjoy watching my dog watch.” Methinks someone needs to get a life.

And Sara Brooks of San Diego, owner of Cujo: “His behavior has improved so much that it seems he’s not the same dog.” Hey, wasn’t that the point of a Stephen King’s “Cujo?”

No, I’m afraid our dog Wasabi doesn’t have enough psychological problems to warrant DOGTV. He’s been gently raised on MSNBC and as far as I can tell he still prefers sleep and maybe a little game of fetch. The next time he watches TV for 24 seconds will be the first time.

Contact Bob Bestler at bestler6@tds.net.

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